How I Shift Gears In The Counseling Relationship

Sometimes my aim to help a client get better  is going to require some adaptions to the terrain.  It’s easy to get caught up in my own ideas and forget the age difference between me and the younger person.  I have to stand alongside him/her on common ground.  Which is why it is smart for me to explore the environment for something to agree upon.  The best thing that I can think of is color.  For most of us, the achievement of knowing basic colors is something we did in pre-school and kindergarten.  A large percent of people on my caseload know what green is.  It takes very little effort to name the colors of different objects .  A child can spend quite a bit of time verbalizing his identification of red and blue.  This is a non-threatening avenue of conversation.   

 The color of an object is established as fact.  It links both the child and I to something in the present.  Our relationship is currently based on knowledge that we can share.  And in turn, the practice of sharing is a step we take in a healthy form of interaction.  I have yet to find the limit to possibilities in this area of conversation.  If anything, we can use the concept of color-identification as means of fact-finding, which is part of learning about assertiveness.




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